Limerick-based garda struck women "to defend himself"

Judge will deliver verdict next week

Limerick-based garda struck women "to defend himself"

Garda Brian Hanrahan denies the charges

Judgment has been reserved in the case of a Limerick-based garda who is accused of assaulting two women during a night out last year.

Garda Brian Hanrahan, who is attached to Newcastle West garda station, denies the charges which relate to an incident outside a take away in Nenagh on March 5, 2016.

During a district court hearing, which lasted for several hours this Friday, Judge Elizabeth MacGrath heard evidence from the garda who insisted he stuck the women in an effort to defend himself.

Garda Hanrahan, who was off-duty on the night, said the last thing he wanted was to be involved in an altercation - four months after he was shot and injured during an incident while he was on holidays in the US city of New Orleans.

Nenagh District Court was told one of the woman lost a tooth when she was kicked in the face by the defendant.

The woman had earlier told the court that she was in a car with friends when she saw Garda Hanrahan trying to flag down cars. She said they agreed to give him a lift home after he offered to pay €15.

However, the witness said when she asked him for the money he pulled her hair. She said he then punched her and kicked her up to eight times when she fell to the ground.

Another passenger in the car said Garda Hanrahan pushed her back and hit her in the face.

In his evidence, the defendant said one of the women got out of the car and attacked him.

While he admitted hitting her he insisted it was to “fend her off” and to defend himself.

“I wasn't trying to hurt her. I was trying to stop her. I couldn't get away from her,” he told the court.

Judge MacGrath reserved judgement indicating she will deliver her verdict on February 10, next.